30. Jan. 2015

Agentur Moskau

It’s a pity, that we have lost the Russian delegation

Questions from the agency SPUTNIK and answers from Andi Gross after the January Session of the Council of Europe

Could you please give a brief comment on the situation with the Russian delegation?

It’s a pity, that we have lost them. The majority imposed the decision to deprive the Russian delegation from the voting rights. Everybody knew that when this would happen, the Russian delegation would leave the Assembly. A small but fanatic minority prevented the compromise to be voted – they hate the Russians, they have no trust in them, do not believe them anything. I tried everything to prevent this to happen. My colleague Stefan Schenach as well. We are convinced that there is no military solution; but there is no peaceful solution without talk and common work and results of our work. Now we cannot work and talk together; so any progress in the interest of millions of Ukrainians and Russians is not very probable.

Do you think the review of its credentials in April will somehow change the situation?

I am afraid not. Neither of the 22 steps the Schenach report proposes will be done. Even more deterioration is probable. And without any contacts we do not learn to know and we can not change the course of the events. So in April we will have a debate without the Russian colleagues and without any probable constructive result. The review of the credentials will only happen in June; but also then it will be the second debate about Russia without the Russian colleagues and so the stagnation, if not the regression, will continue. It’s such a pity, that the Russian Government did not give us any small sign of good will – with such a sign we could have achieved another outcome of the January debate and a reestablishment of the common work we started last autumn.

Is dialogue between Russia and the Council of Europe still possible given the decision the Russian delegation made?

The diplomats will speak with each other, the lawyers and some civil servants too, but the power machine of the CoE, the PA, won’t be able to realise it’s potential of a pan European parliamentary platform because the PA reduced the platform, so the Russians have no place anymore. Like this there will be no dialogue and therefore no common learning process, no mutual self critical reflexions and there fore no new chance to stop the violence and come back to more substantive and critical changes. I will try hard, that in January 2016 we may change this, but I am not optimistic. Some Parliamentarians will of course continue to meet each other in Russia or elsewhere, but as an organisation the CoE will have no dialogue and therefore reduced its potential itself.

Kontakt mit Andreas Gross

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